Barr Gilmore

MINI GOLF – a social practice:  H#1

Barr Gilmore: Preferred Lies

My grandfather William (Bill) Barr was a golf professional. He started in Scotland in a little town called Rothesay on the Isle of Bute at the Rothesay Golf Club as a boy caddying, then greenskeeping, playing and eventually teaching. He came to Canada in 1926 where he started an indoor school, then eventually became the pro at the Quilchena Golf Club in Vancouver. He retired in 1967 and wrote a small book on golf entitled Golf the Barr Way. For most of my young life, my family either lived on or near a golf course and I became a junior member of the Quilchena Golf Club when I was just ten years old. On a recent visit to Rothesay, my Mom and I visited the golf club. Right by the first hole tee off, I saw a sign which struck me as quite funny, it said Preferred Lies. Of course, in golf terms it means that golfers may improve their ball’s lie in certain areas of the course—in other words, that they can move the golf ball to improve its lie if they might damage the fairway (also known as ‘winter rules’). I saw this sign, however, as an interesting take on the (secrets and) lies that have been told to make us all feel better about ourselves and our family history. To this end, I have made a hole for Mini Golf that honours the late memory of my Grandpa Barr, who died thirty years ago in 1982. I imagine a hole that uses our family tartan (Clan Colquhoun) as a basis for the exaggerated pattern design of the ‘green’ leading up to the hole.

Playing Tips: 

  • This is a par-2 hole
  • The golf term “Preferred Lies” signifies that golfers may improve their ball’s lie in certain areas of the course…think about it.

Barr Gilmore (RCA, MDes) is a Toronto-based designer and artist. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in sculpture and printmaking from UBC, Vancouver (1987); was the Studio Assistant to the renowned Canadian art collective General Idea (1991-95) and a Senior Design Associate at Bruce Mau Design (1996-2005). He completed his Master of Design in the IAMD graduate program at OCADU in 2011 for which he won the prestigious Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal. His book and exhibition designs have won numerous awards; and in 2009 he was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (RCA) for graphic design. His work will be featured in two other exhibitions this summer: ‘Summer Special’ curated by Mona Filip, Koffler Gallery at Honest Eds; and ‘MADE: Directions and Intersections in Current Canadian Design’ at the Visual Art Centre of Clarington.

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ARCH 425: Team Peter Walker

6×6 is 1 of 11 installations by Associate Professor Elise Shelley’s ARCH 425 students. ARCH 425 is a 4th year course at Waterloo Architecture that investigates the modern designed landscape in connection with nature, social issues, and environmentalism.

Location: rare Charitable Research ReserveSite 11

Group Members:

1 Fish Zachary
2 Gray Braden
3 Kim Sung-Jun Mark
4 Moghaddam Matin
5 Wenzel Stephen


Emerging from the tall grass the teasel plant stands proud. Originally imported from Europe for widespread use in the textile industry this non-native species is now considered invasive. 6 x 6 embodies this idea of human induced invasion, imposing the order of the city into nature, a grid of columns juxtaposed with the natural landscape. Each post is a minimalist interpretation of the biannual teasel, investigating the cyclical changes of form, collecting solar energy during the day and glowing each night. The uniform grid reinforces the rolling topography while the lights illuminate the landscape at night, acting as a beacon for the Common Ground installations at RARE, to all the cars that pass by.









Photographs Provided by the Artists courtesy of Waterloo Architecture.
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